She’s twenty-four. She’s twenty-four and I am thirty-three and I find myself putting on my best fitting shirts, my nicest shoes, and combing my hair in that aloof manner that means I really do care about how I look, so much so that I am trying my best to not make it seem like I give two rats or a fuck about my appearance.
I call her Pajarita, spanish for “Little Bird” despite the stern wording she used when she told me she wasn’t one of my wounded fowl. That’s what she calls them; wounded birds. Those little, helpless, broken-winged creatures who come to me to be fed and taken care of and who eventually end up flying away before the night falls and I’m left with nothing but a pile of feathers.
“You don’t get to fix me, Matt.” She says. “I am not one of them. I can fix myself.”
I believe her. I believe her because when she has been where I am. She has seen the person she cares about most traipse down a path that eventually kills them. She has seen the dregs and the droves and the fascinating darkness that ensues in each of them. She sees it in me.
“You should come with me, ” She says. Meaning overseas. Into Thailand, Africa, Southeast Asia, Yemen, New Zealand, where ever her international law degree takes her. “I want nothing more than for you to come with me and write.” I tell her I will. I tell her I want to be near her. I kiss her lips and she kisses like a tiny bird.
“Fitting,” I say aloud though she doesn’t hear me. We talk about how she wants to kill me. How her huge German Shepherd isn’t to be toyed with. How her clothes fit her. How that small area right below her stomach is sensitive and every time I touch it she sighs and shifts her hips and presses them against me.
I wonder if she thinks about me when she masturbates. I wonder if, despite her Ivy League background, she is just toying with me. I wonder why she feels strangely familiar and soft and firm and every time I touch her it is though I have woken from a deep sleep.
“I miss you.” I tell her and do. “I can’t wait to see you,” I say and I am not lying. “I want you. Te queiro, por favor,” And I am speaking to her in Spanish because that is her first language and I want to feel her tongue on mine; I want to feel the firm thrust of her hips against my thigh.
It’s 3:30am and she is rubbing my chest and I am asleep and for the first time in almost five months I feel as though the person next to me isn’t a stranger.